In 1761, the cabinet-maker Caspar Faber set up a business at Stein near Nuremberg where he produced pencils to sell at the local market. This date is considered to be the founding of the company.
In 1839, Lothar von Faber (4th generation) not only invented the hexagonal pencil but also laid down standards for length, thickness and hardness. He was also the first manufacturer to mark his products with the name of the company. His pencils thus became not just the first brand name writing implements, but were among the earliest branded articles in the world. In 1849, he opened a branch office in New York. Subsidiaries in London, Paris, Vienna and St. Petersburg followed.
In 1898, his granddaughter Ottilie married Count Alexander zu Castell-Rüdenhausen, a scion of one of Germany’s oldest aristocratic families. This is how the family name Faber-Castell came about, a name that was also applied to the business and the brand.
In 1905, Count Alexander introduced the famous green Castell 9000 pencil which with its unmistakable design continues to enjoy great success world-wide.
In 1928, Count Alexander’s son Roland succeeded as head of the company. He took over the Johann Faber pencil factory that had been founded by Lothar von Faber’s brother Johann, and with it the Brazilian subsidiary Lapis Johann Faber in São Carlos which is now the world’s largest factory for colour pencils. New foreign subsidiaries were founded for instance in France, Austria, Australia, Argentina and Peru.
Count Anton Wolfgang von Faber-Castell took over in 1978, and the same year began producing wood-cased pencils for the cosmetics industry. He has been focusing strongly on international expansion, sustainable development and social responsibility.